Sophronios, Archbishop of Jerusalem

Sophronios, archbishop of Jerusalem. was born in the province of Damascus, which is commonly called Siam, at a place of Phoenicia called Livanostephanou in 600. His parents were pious and prudent people and, because he was clever and studious, he acquired the strength and power of every science. Moreover, he used to practise the virtue and asceticism of the desert hermits towards the inhabitants of the city. Then, he went to St. Theodosios the Coenobiarch's monastery.

After he had departed from that place, he went to Egypt wishing to acquire more learning and wisdom. There he found a man called John who was full of every internal and external wisdom. So, having found what he wanted, he stayed with him and was instructed on what he knew better and vice versa. While he was there, he suffered from cataract (lit. pouring of liquid on his eyes) and was cured by Sts. Cyrus and John the Anargyri, who asked as their wages that he ought to write down the miracles which they performed each day. When he did this according to the saints' request, he returned to Jerusalem.

Then, because of his extreme virtue, he was consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem. When Jerusalem had been conquered by the Persians, he went to Alexandria, where great John the charitable was Bishop. When divine John departed to the Lord, venerable Sophronios composed a praising funeral oration, with which he made known the immeasurable treasure of charity and compassion which that thrice blessed man had in his soul, and also lamented his parting from him.

Who can relate with how much care and pains St. Sophronios ministered the flock which had been given to him, after he returned to Jerusalem? Not only had he to fight spiritually against demons but he also had to make a war of logic against the heretical Monothelites, whom he sometimes refuted with the Holy Scriptures and the Apostolic and Patristic traditions and sometimes he conquered with his own teaching.

This blessed father left a lot of writings to the Church of Christ which are worthy to be mentioned and remembered. One of these is the most marvellous life of Mary the Egyptian and equal to angels, who had fought in the desert surpassing human nature.

Having lived in this way, well and with love for God, having taught other men and having been a mouth of God, as Jeremiah says, he ministered the flock of Christ for three years, before departing peacefully to the Lord.